The country received more than $750 million in local and foreign investment in the startup sector over the last decade, State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak said.
Mentioning that the country currently accommodates over 22,500 startups, he added that the government was financially supporting the businesses through its initiatives – Startup Bangladesh Limited and Bangabandhu Innovation Grant.
The state minister disclosed these while virtually addressing a programme at the ICT Tower in the capital on Wednesday.
Startup Bangladesh, the flagship venture capital fund of the ICT ministry, organised the event to sign agreements to provide Tk17 crore in investment aids to 8 startups in the second phase under its campaign "Shotoborshe Shoto Asha".
The ICT Division initiated the campaign to commemorate the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of the country. It aims to promote entrepreneurship and generate employment by providing at least 50 startups with Tk100 crore investment aids.
"I believe the initiative will help create a national entrepreneurial platform in the country and promote innovations," the minister said, adding that they would not let any potential startup drop out because of the financial crisis.
He further added that the campaign would make Bangladesh a step forward in the global economy.
Specialised labs and fourth industrial revolution centres in 53 universities, Joy Digital Service Centre in 494 upazilas, and 300 schools of the future across the country were being set up to cope with the inevitable Fourth Industrial Revolution, the minister noted and hoped that the young generation entrepreneurs would build a knowledge-based and innovative Bangladesh in future.
Bangladesh Computer Council Executive Director Md Abdul Mannan, Turkish Ambassador to Bangladesh Mustafa Osman Turan, Bangladesh Association of Call Centers and Outsourcing President Wahid Sharif, and Startup Bangladesh Managing Director Sami Ahmed, among others, were present at the event.
The recipients of Tk17cr
Maid service provider HelloTask, online education platform 10 Minutes School, agricultural business promoter iFarmer, snacks producer Frontier Nutrition, freight service provider Loop Freight, car service provider Zantrik, on-demand lorry service provider Truck Lagbe and SATEL were picked to provide the investment aid of Tk17 crore in the initial phase.
Startup Bangladesh Managing Director Sami Ahmed and chief executive officers of the startups signed the agreements on behalf of their respective organisations.